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How to check the Ubuntu version?

In this article, we will go through two different methods on how to check the version of the installed Ubuntu system.

29 Dec, 21 by Susith Nonis 4 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that is available as open-source. You will get a long list of the versions available for Ubuntu in the market. There are various stable and suitable versions for carrying out complex tasks. If you are unsure what version you are using on your system, you might dig a little bit and find out the running version, as it is essential to know and run the required commands that are compatible with that version. 

Also, finding the version of the Ubuntu OS running on your system will help you troubleshoot the potential issues and reach a root cause quickly.

In this article, we will focus on all possible ways you can use to find out the running version of Ubuntu. Before we move to various methods, first, we must complete the prerequisite for performing the methods.

Make sure you have the following.

  • A system that is running the Ubuntu OS.
  • You might have an account with sudo or root privileges for running the commands. 
  • A terminal where you can execute the window/command-line commands.

Now, we will move towards the two simple methods that will help find the Ubuntu version that has been installed and running on your system. The first one is to check using the terminal, and the second method is to use Ubuntu’s default graphical interface.

If you are aware of the terminal commands and feel comfortable around running commands, then you have three different ways for determining the Ubuntu version installed on the system. Let’s go through the three different ways one by one.

1.   Check Ubuntu Version with lsb_release –a Command.

First, go to the start menu and search for the command prompt. Once you click on the cmd, you will get a black screen in front of you to run the commands.

For this, you can run the following command.

lsb_release –a

As per the above output, you will get the details about the current version of Ubuntu. 

2.   Check Ubuntu Version with cat /etc/lsb-release Command

Ubuntu has a /etc/lsb-release file stored on the system that will contain the essential details regarding the system. To get the information of this file, you can run the “cat” command to get the file’s contents, as shown below.

cat /etc/lsb-release

3.   Check Ubuntu Version with cat /etc/*release Command

If you want to get in-depth information regarding the release of the Ubuntu system, you can go through the file /etc/*release. For getting the contents of this file, you can run the cat command on this file as shown below.

cat /etc/*release

4.   Check Ubuntu Version with hostnemctl command

Apart from the cat command, another command will solve your purpose. The command is “hostnemctl”, which will provide you with detailed information regarding the version of Ubuntu installed on the system.


If you are not aware of the terminal command for Unix, then there is another option for you to get the version of the installed Ubuntu on your system. You can use the graphical interface of Ubuntu for that. Below we have mentioned a step-by-step procedure for determining the version of installed Ubuntu.

  • First, go for the Activities option available in the top left corner.
  • Then in the search bar, type Settings and click on the popped-up icon as shown below.

  • Then you will enter the System Settings window, where you can click on the Details tab.

  • The Details section will display the version of Ubuntu installed on your system, along with additional information.

  • As per the image, the system has the Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (codenamed Bionic Beaver) version, where LTS stands for Long-Term Support, meaning it’s a major version with consistent support for up to 10 years.

If you are a technical person, you must know your system well. This will allow you the flexibility to carry out actions that are compatible with the installed version of the OS. in this case; we are considering Ubuntu. 

In this article, you have learned about various ways for determining the version of the installed Ubuntu. Both methods are different from each other. The first method will allow you to execute command-line commands to get the relevant details, and the second method will let you go through the graphical interface of Ubuntu.

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I veture into the world of Technology I try to share what I know in the simplest way possible. Not a fan of coffee, a sweet addict and a self accredited 'master chef'.